Monday, June 27, 2011

#MusicMonday: Vintage Jam from Green Velvet; "La La Land"

who was at circuit grounds on Saturday at #EDCLasVegas?  I surely was.  I love old school jams, and anyone who was present for Green Velvet's set will remember this one.  Classic Stuff.  Love it.

I hope to see you soon in....La La Land.


The EDC Hangover: Some post event thoughts from a crazy weekend in Las Vegas!

Well...another EDC is over and in the history books, and once again I've been left speechless.  Insomniac has outdone themselves again.  For anyone that was in attendance, holy crap this event was the most insane thing I've ever been to.  Forget a rave or edm festival or whatever you want to call it...this was nothing short of a spectacle for the ages.  Anyway, today is involving much rest and relaxation to tackle the work week (today was already happily survived) and as I am going to import all the pics and video I took over the weekend, a review is in order.  However, I can say a few things now (keep in mind I only attended Friday & Saturday, flew back home to SF Sunday)...

1)  I love Las Vegas for embracing this event and EDM as a whole.  Really love the fact that the Vegas clubs like Marquee, XS, and Tryst held their beach parties and day events in conjunction with EDC with the DJ's here.  Really set the tone for the entire city that EDM is here and is taking over.
2)  The big headliners were outdone.  I'm sorry, but in my opinion, most of the music to see was not at Kinetic Field.  Matter of fact, Kinetic Field was way too small of an area for the size of stage that was created; but that's another issue.  You let me down Tiesto!  He's far from the man who created big room anthems and commanded the crowd.  As he's abandoned his trance roots and fully embraced house, his set felt like a beatport top 40 playlist.  No bueno!  There's plenty more people who do house and do it Porter Robinson!  Young dude on the come up and he was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) sets during the entire event!  Amazing stuff, and his mixing & cutting skills on the decks (no laptop in sight) were unbelievable.  Keep an eye out for that man.  Some of my other favs during the event:

  • Dada Life on Saturday: goes without saying but who brings marching bands & giant bananas on stage? These crazy swedes do.  And guess what, we got RICK ROLLED!  Lol you'll have to watch it on youtube to understand.  You might as well youtube their entire set from Saturday.  Yes, do it.
  • Wolfgang Gartner on Friday: sadly I missed a big portion, but from what I heard, he did pretty damn good.  
  • I know I already mentioned Porter Robinson, but I can't speak enough on how much he impressed me and the entire crowd.  I'm pretty sure a lot of the people at this stage hadn't heard of him yet, but once he hit it, everyone flocked as soon as they heard the beats and remixes he was dropping.  Talk about commanding the crowd.  
  • Roger Sanchez can pump the crowd up.  I was actually there in waiting for Cosmic Gate to hit the decks and stumbled upon the last part of his set.  He got me going no doubt.
  • Cosmic Gate...ahh how I am saddened to have missed a big chunk of your set :(.  We shall be reunited later in time.  Always a treat these two.
  • Calvin Harris: nice!  Always a treat.  Really like that "Awooga" jam.
  • The veteran Curtis Jones aka Green Velvet was awesome.  It was certainly more of a vintage style and I really dig it.  I like vintage.  Need to download more and see what I've been missing out on.
  • I managed to catch Bloody Beetroorts Death Crew 77 for about 10 minutes as I was buying more beer.  Luckily in that 10 minute span it included the smash "Warp 1.9".  Woop woop!
  • Skrillex is here to stay.  Make no mistake about it.  His following has gotten pretty insane.  While not the biggest dubstep fan, I got into it pretty fierce.
  • Afrojack on Saturday was a rallying cry for the masses getting them nice and erect for Benny Benassi and David Guetta (did I just say erect?).  The man can certainly cut it up and proved why in such a short span of time has rocketed to the top in the house music scene.  He has a unique style and has earned some points with me I must say.

3) It was freakin HOT!  I think that speaks for itself for anyone else who was there.  Thank goodness for those water stations
4)  The production was out of this world.  Skydivers with sparkling streamers, marching bands in tron suits, costumed people on stilts, costumed people in general, artsy attractions burning man style, lit up rides, BUMPER CARS, and every single massive stage (even the Bass Pod was huge)...speechless.  The motor speedway felt like it could have had its own zipcode.  I had no idea such a thing was possible to organize.
5)  I loved the fact that it was 18+.  Thank you Insomniac for finally making this possibility a reality.  Felt like a much more responsible crowd and less 14 year olds there for the drugs and not the music.  Aww, EDC has grown up ;).  Bigger and better things people!
6) tired *yawn*.

In closing...what else can I say?  I had a blast...the time of my life.  I've never been to such a fun event (I said this last year EDC too) in my life and already I can't wait for next year.  This has become the corner stone for dance music (and possibly its saving grace) this side of the world.  Viva Las Vegas indeed.


P.S. Remember... I need to upload all the pics and video I took on my possibly water damaged camera (water proof? suuure).

Also be sure to check other coverage of EDC at the following links (more to come):

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Electric Daisy Carnival: Viva Las Vegas! The Preview (Las Vegas, Tiesto, and the new hub for EDM)

 The Event

ahhh the calm before the storm.  I'm sure right now all is quiet in the desert of Las Vegas, as it's the night before the madness that is the Electric Daisy Carnival.  Being the first time that this massive has hit Vegas, It's really great to see the city has welcome the event and the culture with open arms.  The city has even gone so far as to declare this past week "EDC Week".  Check out the press release.  It's no secret that electronic dance music is the rage in pop culture right now, and certainly a big ticket for any city to attract tourism.  The kick, however, is what kind of tourism.  The rest of the country has pretty much deemed this event an abomination of drugs and dangerous behavior.  Don't believe me?  Check this out.  EDC is feared to be a "dangerous drug fest" by most of the nation, as so aptly put by that news article from Colorado.  The sad truth is, not much changed about this year to make them change their opinion as detox centers were pretty busy.  LA couldn't handle it, Colorado feared it, and now we most recently lost another ally in Dallas.  Dallas embraced it last year, only to be marred with the same kind of bad press the Los Angeles event last year suffered with a death and over a dozen hospitalized: read it here.  Yet through it all, the general feeling about this weekend in Las Vegas is a good one.

City of Sin is now City of EDM
 What makes this particular city so different to embrace the event even with such bad press?  Even after all the negative banter about EDC and dance music as a whole, the general vibe looking into this weekend's festivities is a good one.  The promoter Insomniac is excited, the DJ's are excited, the fans are especially excited, and the city is expecting a huge turn out of EDM enthusiasts from around the country ready to relish in the good times.  Well for one thing, Las Vegas embraces all forms of tourism.  EDM is hot right now, which means EDM is money.  Vegas likes money; Vegas wants money; Vegas wants ALL your money.  That's just how it is.  Thousands of young adults ready to dance the night away means hotels make money, restaurants make money, stores make money, casinos make money (for those over 21), and clubs make money.  Clubs like Marquee, Tryst, XS, and Rain have centered all their events this weekend around EDC.  They know what's happening this weekend.  Is it a coincidence that the most popular clubs in Vegas these days have EDM DJ's spinning on the regular?  I don't think so.  It has become the new capitol for dance music, with several credible magazines calling it "the new Ibiza".  It all makes sense.  And all bad press aside, this will be a huge money maker for the city and a positive thing for us (especially if nobody dies).  This festival is the last chance we have to improve the image of the scene.  Be happy for the good news: Las Vegas has embraced dance music, and we should embrace them back accordingly.

Now, all sentimental mumbo jumbo aside, whose excited??  I know I sure as hell am.  I will be touching down into LAS at 7:30 am tomorrow morning (early as hell in layman's terms).  Hope to check in, relax a bit, soak some sun poolside, rest some more, and be ready for a looong night because this is going to be one hell of a ride.  If you haven't seen the construction and the pictures of the fairgrounds, don't be a fool and go check out the pictures right now at  Also make sure to check this out:

If you aren't excited after seeing that....something must be wrong with you.  For organization of the event, I really have to praise everything that Insomniac has done differently with the west coast chapter of EDC this year's go around.  Free water stations, free parking, shuttle service from the strip, and lockers....all key events for a successfully safe night.

The Talent

Remember that little piece I wrote about the acts that I wanted to be there?  I was 4 for 5!  Markus Schulz, Benny Benassi, Dada Life, and Tiesto will all be there!  Daft Punk...let's be honest, I know it was a nearly impossible request, but I'm sure Insomniac did the right thing by at least reaching out to them.

I'd have to say I'm most excited about seeing Tiesto.  The man is a legend, and no other word can do justice when describing who he is, what he's done for dance music, and his body of work.  Nothing short of legendary.  I haven't seen him perform since 2008 in San Francisco during the now infamous weekend of the new defunct ETD POP.  For those that live in the Bay Area, the "power went out" 1 hour into the set only to find out it was most likely due to police intervention that the event was shut down.  Fast forward to the 8:30 mark:

Anybody that went to Ruby Skye afterward saw a rarity: a Gouryella reunion as Ferry Corsten let Tiesto hit the decks with him side by side; taking turns with tracks.  What a night.... oh yeah I'm getting sidetracked.  Anyway that was about the time of the Elements of Life album, and his style has certainly changed since then.  He is the definition of a big room DJ and I'm sure he still knocks it out of the park every time.  I can't wait to see what his live show looks like right now.  Although he's pretty much abandoned his trance roots entirely and has embraced house music to the fullest, it is refreshing to see he has reinvented himself.  Which brings me to another point....

EDC is all about house music!  Let me repeat....EDC is all about house music.  While the lineup has a broad range, look at 90% of the main stage acts (aka the money makers).  They know the music trends.  Look at least year's insane pop culture popularity with Lil Jon and Black Eyed Peas joining Benny Benassi.  Look at the circuit grounds on Sunday (the Trance day).  All of those top draw trance DJ's (Ferry, Markus, ATB, JOC) would be on the main stage at any other festival around the world.  That's just the nature of the business in the United States.   It's nice to see that they haven't forgotten about the minorities though.  Trance (the whole Sunday at circuit grounds), Dubstep (Skrillex), and Techno (Umek), and DnB (i honestly haven't checked for it) are all represented.

In closing, let me just say that I hope everybody has a great weekend and I wish you all a safe and incredible journey through this electronic music odyssey.  This will certainly be one for the history books and as the feeling was least year, we are all part of something incredible being brought together for our love for electronic music.  Oh and to my good friends in the TranceMafia and TranceFamilySF, please believe I'll be wearing my bracelet ;).  Ciao and Cheers!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Week's Artist Spotlight: Michael Woods

 When you talk about consistency, none come more on top of the game than British sensation Michael Woods.  After cranking out smash after smash, year after year, season after season, you can hear his tracks on rotation from a wide variety of DJ's.  Trance, House, Progressive, doesn't matter...he's THAT good, and that diverse.  He's pretty much got his own style that when you hear the track, you're not surprised when you find out that Mr. Woods is behind it.  After much rotation in my favorite radio shows like Markus Schulz's Global DJ Broadcast, Ferry Corsten's Corsten's Countdown, and Gareth Emery's weekly podcast, I'm always in the know when he drops his next smash single or killer remix.  After the release of "Fruitcake", I have to show everyone a little taste of what I'm talking about.  If you don't know, now you do.  Here are some gems from the man.  Enjoy!  ~Mark

Comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Rain" in San Francisco

Hey what's up edm lovers.  Sorry I haven't posted in quite the while.  It certainly has been a long time...but who could really stay away from writing about the greatest music in the world?  Certainly not I.  So in that spirit, I'm back to share a little bit of sentiment.  Part of the reason for my lack of blabber is the fact that my schedule has gotten quite hectic with a new job in San Francisco.  That's right, workin it up in the big city.  Love the lifestyle and working there has been quite interesting to say the least.  So....for all of those awesome people who work/live/play in San Francisco, I'm sure the same idea has come across our brain at least once in the last week....WTF is up with the weather??  You know, for June and the beginning of summer, it sure is pretty damn cold in Northern California.  I for one, am not down with that.  As I looked out of my office and actually saw it raining, it made me think of a couple of tracks: aptly named "Rain".  Quite deep no? Two of my favorite tracks when I look out of the window and see rain are the "Rain" tracks from Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz.  Not familiar with them? No?  Well get to it.  Here below are those two favorite tracks of mine remixed.  Enjoy!

Markus Schulz - Rain (Phynn Remix)

Armin van Buuren - Rain (W&W Remix)

'Till next time...turn it up!